What a lovely little gift from ToMoCo — did you get us the next-generation Prius? Oh, it's something better — but what could it be? How about a concept sports car, which Toyota plans on revealing at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show next month, which does share one thing in common with the little-hybrid-that-could — it's got one of ToMoCo's hybrid synergy drives. But wait a second, a sports car with a hybrid motor— no V8? Of course not, this is Toyota we're talking about — the computer geeks at Calty Design Research, Toyota's design studio in Newport Beach, California have mated the electric drivetrain with a 3.5-liter V6 (more than likely the same one used in the Lexus GS 450h), which ToMoCo claims when stuck together, and with fairy dust liberally sprinkled in it'll produce upwards of 400 hp (that's just a wee bit of an increase from the 292 hp made by the GS engine) and a four-second range on the 0-60 time. Although a sports car without a V8 engine may seem strange and scary to many an 'merican driver — the Calty folks claim "a hybrid powertrain will have a certain quotient of respectability that you won't find in a supercharged big-block V8." While I don't know if the majority of muscle car owners would buy...
...their argument of respectability — I do have to say they've certainly tried to mate that bi-powertrain engine to a sweet triangular form factored shell that's at least about as big as a Corvette (the ToMoConcept has an end-to-end length of 170.3 inches to the 'vette's 174.6). And for the added size, you even get a cabin with a 2+2 seating arrangement. And depending on the configuration — we're told the concept features a rail-sliding vista-type carbon-fiber or glass roof to open up the coupe to the elements. We've provided a full gallery of 'puter pictures above and we'll be sure to snap lots of photos when we see it in person next month in Detroit.
All our 2007 Detroit Auto Show Coverage [internal]